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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Blue Devil Racing Stable’s homebred Come Dancing has her connections doing the Texas Two Step after she strolled home powerfully to win Saturday’s Ketel One Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
The Ballerina is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Come Dancing receiving an automatic berth in the Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 2 under Javier Castellano as the 3/5 favorite, Come Dancing bumped with Special Relativity from the rail and was pinched back slightly at the start. Up front, Separationofpowers and Mia Mischief dueled through opening fractions of :23.31 and :45.86. Castellano tipped the recovered Come Dancing to the outside down the backstretch and positioned her perfectly to the outside of the front-runners heading into the far turn.
Moving swiftly around Mia Mischief as the field rounded the corner, Come Dancing emerged with a growing lead and never looked back. Continuing to stride away from her foes with every step, Come Dancing completed the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track in a final time of 1:21.48.
“She didn’t break sharp out of the gate,” Castellano said. “I took my time to move up and control the race. She’s a wonderful filly and she’s so kind. You can do whatever you want with her. In the stretch, she proved she was much the best, the way she did it.”
The Carlos Martin-trained winner finished 3 1/2 lengths clear of Dawn the Destroyer, who herself was 2 lengths ahead of Special Relativity. Behind them came Separationofpowers and Mia Mischief to complete the order of finish. Minit to Stardom was a trainer scratch and Pacific Gale was a veterinarian scratch.
Come Dancing’s win was her first at the Grade 1 level and her third of the year, following earlier conquests in the Distaff Handicap (G3) and the Ruffian Stakes (G2). The 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon improved her lifetime record to 12-7-2-0 with $881,700 earned.
“When I saw her just sit out there in third, I said, ‘She’s so comfortable,'” Martin said. “When she gets into that comfortable rhythm, it means she has a lot left coming back. She trained so brilliantly the whole time here. Sitting around the turn, I felt pretty comfortable.”
Come Dancing returned $3.50 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.30 to show. Dawn the Destroyer brought back $6.10 to place and $3.70 to show, while Special Relativity paid $4.20 to show.
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